|The role of women in the world of Professional Wrestling has been an interesting one over the years, ranging from a simple novelty to being used as drawing card for house shows and television ratings. While wildly popular in many parts of the country, Women's participation was forbidden in several states, including New York and California. Women have served in roles as wrestlers, managers, valets, Ring announcers, color commentators, referees, reporters and even p art owners of the largest organizations. Below is a listing of several women involved in the past and present and include some who proved invaluable in building the foundations of the sport.|
While Cora Livingstone is hailed as the first Women's champion of the world, the the most famous early women known far and wide as a wrestling champion was Mildred Burke. The 5'2", 130 pound Kansan was discovered by her future husband, Promotor Billy Wolfe and held the Women's Title for 18 years. In her career, Mildred took on all comers, including a number of occasions where she wrestled men and became a champion in 1936. At the peak of her career, Mildred earned more than of $50,000.00, well in excess of what most men earned, both in and out of wrestling.
|Following Mildred Burke as Women's Champion was June Byers, who took Burke's title in 1954. Standing 5'7" and weighing 150 pounds, the native of Houston, Texas often defended her title as often as three times a week as was thought to have wrestled in every country which permitted women to wrestle.|
|The next great Women's Champion, and undoubtedly the most well known female wrestler of all time is South African Lillian Ellison, better known as The Fabulous Moolah. Initially s erving as Slave Girl Moolah, a valet to wrestler Elephant Boy, Ellison became Woman's Champion in 1957 when she defeated June Byers and held the title for 27 years until she was defeated in 1984 by Wendi Richter. Moolah later served as a manager and valet to Harley Race and also ran her own wrestling training camp called Camp Moolah (where she once trained Lelani Kai.)|
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